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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering


January 2014 Issue

10th Anniversary of World's First Rigless Platform Well
Claxton Engineering Services Ltd. (Great Yarmouth, England), a member of the Acteon Group's (Norwich, England) risers, conductors and flowlines business, has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its success with the world's first rigless platform well abandonment.

In the 10 years since its feat at the Perenco Well A1 in the Leman field, southern North Sea, Claxton has launched an expanding range of product, process and running tool innovations. The company has also been involved in decommissioning more than 60 North Sea platform wells, in most cases without using a drilling rig or lift vessel. In total, the Claxton decommissioning tooling spread has been used on more than 260 successful well abandonment and conductor removal projects.

Claxton has also achieved significant geographical expansion since 2003, having opened new facilities in Norway, Singapore and the Middle East.

For that first rigless abandonment project, Claxton used a custom conductor reaction recovery system designed and manufactured specifically to interface with the Leman platform and to retrieve and handle well trees and tubulars. Its full casing recovery package was also required. The SABRE abrasive water jet cutting system played a key role and has since been used on many significant abandonment campaigns.

When the Leman Abandonment was completed, calculations showed that the overall cost of the project was less than 50 percent of an equivalent rig-based solution.

The Perenco Well A1 proved to be a game-changer with the introduction of pioneering technical solutions that have since become commonplace, according to Claxton.

Norway Oil and Gas Industry Will Acquire Seismic 3D Data
At the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), the country's oil and gas industry, via the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, has taken the initiative to jointly acquire seismic 3D data from the blocks in the southeastern Barents Sea that will be announced in the 23rd licensing round for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2014.

This is the first new area on the NCS to be opened since 1994. Thirty companies showed interest in participating, 17 of which signed an agreement to establish a joint project for planning and implementing the acquisition. As the largest operator on the Norwegian shelf, Statoil (Stavanger, Norway) has taken on the operator role.

'Coordinated seismic acquisition has several advantages,' said says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the NCS. 'It will ensure very good data quality, since the industry to a much greater extent will be able to utilize the companies' collective professional expertise within geological understanding and seismic acquisition and processing. The initiative lays the foundation for fewer, well-planned operations, thus reducing acquisition costs and potential disadvantages for the fishing industry.

'Interest in the Barents Sea has increased considerably in recent years, due in part to the discoveries in the Johan Castberg area. High-quality 3D data will be important to the industry in order to increase understanding of the area's potential.'

When the authorities circulate the 23rd round nominated blocks for public consultation, other oil companies will get a new opportunity to engage in the project. It is expected that several companies will make use of this offer.

The project will immediately initiate a tender process for the seismic acquisition. The plan is for the seismic surveys to start in April 2014 and conclude in autumn of the same year.

Offshore Maintenance, Operations Market to Rise
In 2013, demand for offshore maintenance, modifications and operations services totaled $112 billion for the world's nearly 9,000 offshore platforms, according to the new edition of Douglas-Westwood's World Offshore Maintenance, Modifications & Operations Market Forecast, which analyzes the demand for services in four of the key equipment and service lines: offshore asset services, asset integrity services, support services and modifications.

Over the period 2014 to 2018, spend of $672 billion is forecast; a 31 percent growth on the previous five-year period. This growth is driven by a combination of high oil prices, buoyant offshore development activity, aging infrastructure (requiring modification) and price inflation for equipment and services.

Asia is forecast to overtake North America's spend to account for 30 percent of the market, compared to North America's 27 percent. Asia's large installed and operational base of infrastructure, combined with increasing offshore developments, will drive demand in the region.

Asset services, asset integrity and support service markets are to be dominated by North America, while Asia has the largest modification spend over the forecast period. By sector, asset services accounts for the largest share of spend (46 percent), followed closely by modifications (41 percent).

Shell's Prelude FLNG Floated Out of SHI Dry Dock
The 488-meter-long hull of Shell's (The Hague, Netherlands) Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) facility has been floated out of the dry dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard in Geoje, South Korea, where the facility is currently under construction. Once complete, Prelude FLNG will be the largest floating facility ever built. It will unlock new energy resources offshore and produce approximately 3.6 million tonnes of LNG per annum to meet growing demand.

FLNG will allow Shell to produce natural gas at sea, turn it into LNG and then transfer it directly to the ships that will transport it to customers. It will enable the development of gas resources ranging from clusters of smaller more remote fields to potentially larger fields via multiple facilities where, for a range of reasons, an onshore development is not viable.

Prelude FLNG is the first deployment of Shell's FLNG technology and will operate in a remote basin 475 kilometers northeast of Broome, Australia, for around 25 years.


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